How to Implement Object Associations in a HubSpot CRM Migration

Don't lose your object associations in a CRM migration! Here's how:

Our teammate Andrew is currently doing a big migration project from another CRM into HubSpot. There are 3 objects to migrate: contacts, accounts, and opportunities.

Importing a single object is easy: we just import a spreadsheet file, for instance, a list of contacts. But in this case all three objects have associations to each other: contacts are employees at accounts, and sales opportunities are associated with accounts as well as specific contacts within those accounts. We needed to keep all those associations together when we imported it all into HubSpot.

Andrew's approach is to break the process up into two stages. The first stage is importing the objects by themselves first:

  • Contacts by themselves
  • Companies by themselves
  • Opportunities by themselves

That way we can focus on getting all the object properties set up correctly, do any needed data cleaning, and work through any import errors that pop up.

Then the stage is to do a second round of imports to map the associations between the object records. To do this, Andrew does a pair of spreadsheet imports for each association:

  • Contacts <-> Accounts
  • Contacts <-> Opportunities
  • Accounts <-> Opportunities

Each pair of files will need to have a unique identifier for each of the records, as well as a common column title between both files to show which object record is associated with which. For instance, the Accounts spreadsheet needs to have a column of Company Name, and then the Contacts spreadsheet needs to also have a column called Company Name.

So when HubSpot sees an account listed in the Company Name column on a row in the contact spreadsheet, it can then look up the account with the same Company Name in the Accounts spreadsheet and set up an association between the two records in the database from there.

So that is how you set up and import a pair of spreadsheet files to set up the Contact/Account associations in HubSpot. You'll then create similar pairs of spreadsheets for importing the Contact/Opportunity associations and the Account/Opportunity associations into HubSpot.

Andrew talks through how he goes through the process in this video: